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ACE's ScoreThroughout her book, The Trauma Heart, Judy Crane repeats the mantra, “we are not bad people trying to get good; we are wounded people trying to heal.” (Crane, 2017) A trauma wound is inflicted when we endure a sudden or forceful experience that overpowers our ability to cope.Unaware of underlying trauma wounds, we may find ourselves frustrated, confused, and alone. We struggle to believe we are “good,” especially when our behavior is often what we believe to be the opposite.

These underlying trauma wounds often occur early on in life as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s). ACE (Adverse Childhood Experience) is a term used to describe any type of traumatic experience ( i.e., abuse, neglect) in a child under the age of 18 years old.

The original ACEs study was jointly conducted by the health maintenance organization Kaiser Permanente Obesity Clinic and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Felitti et al., 1998). The study included approximately 17,000 adult volunteers who were surveyed and asked to identify if they had experienced any of the 10 most common adverse and negative childhood events. Such events included: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical neglect, emotional neglect, a mother who had been domestically abused, household substance abuse, household mental illness, parental separation or divorce, and incarceration of a family member (Felitti et al., 1998).

Each participant received a score based on the number of ACEs experienced. Scores ranged from zero to 10. Higher ACE scores were linked to higher chances of suffering from mental health issues, alcoholism, smoking, drug abuse, cancer, and other emotional and health challenges in adulthood (Felitti et al., 1998).

Being aware of and understanding our ACE’s score can be very validating and further our understanding of how the experiences of our past are impacting our present circumstances. (Click here to determine and analyze your ACE score.

Are you feeling alone? Are you struggling in your relationships? Does depression, anxiety, or other mental health disorders feel like they are controlling your life? The Guest House is a facility that has quality experience in working with those struggling with mental health and relationships. Our programs are designed to help you overcome these struggles, feel and think more positively, and live a happy, healthy, and hopeful life! For more information on our programs for men and women as well as recovery programs, call 855-372-1079